As fans of Breaking Bad know, the series ended, in part, with Saul Goodman heading off to Nebraska to assume a new identity and manage a Cinnabon. But instead of showing us that life, the actor who plays Saul, Bob Odenkirk, has signed up to do a prequel television series. So we’re gonna learn about Saul’s past, not about his future. As I’ll explain below, I think that’s gonna be a lot more interesting.
Anyway, back to Saul’s Nebraska adventure. I wonder whether Saul’s moving to Nebraska to assume a new identity was his first time at assuming a new identity, and more importantly, whether he’s actually even an attorney. My guess is that it’s not his first time and that he’s not actually an attorney.
First, his real name is not Goodman. As fans of the show know, he’s not Jewish but is actually Irish, and his last name is McGill.
So at one time he used the name Saul McGill. He did not use it in college. As fans might remember, he graduated from University of American Samoa.
But that raises more questions. First, if his name was Saul McGill, when did he change it? In other words, did he change it before attending the University of Samoa? Or did he simply assume the identify of someone who graduated from the University of Samoa with the name Saul Goodman.
The next issue is that the University of Samoa is not a law school. It appears to be a liberal arts school. So why didn’t Saul have his law school diploma displayed in his office?
According to an interview with actor Bob Odenkirk with Rolling Stone magazine, Saul did not go to law school:
How much backstory did you create on Saul? Did he go to a good law school? Did he make law review?
No, he went to the University of American Samoa ? the diploma is on the wall of his office. He barely passed the bar.
So Saul did not go to law school, but he did pass the bar. I know of no state in our union that allows people to take the bar without first going through law school. So if Saul did not go to law school, the only way he could have taken the exam would have been by faking it or cheating somehow, e.g., assuming someone else’s identity.
Let’s recap. He was probably born Saul McGill. At some point he changed his name or assumed the identify of a Saul Goodman. Because it would have been highly coincidental for Saul to change his name to Goodman to attend the University of Samoa, and then assume the identify of some law school graduate with the exact same name, I don’t think it happened that way.
It makes more sense if Saul wanted to be an attorney, for him to work backwards. In other words, Saul must have found someone who graduated from a law school, but then who died or moved out of the country or decided to not take the exam. Saul must have assumed that guy’s identify first.
He then worked backwards to “get” an undergrad degree. It’s unlikely Saul would have actually went to a University because by then he was already a licensed attorney. So it would make more sense to assume he didn’t go to any undergrad university. Which is why Saul used a “foreign” university. Because then you don’t deal with circumstances with meeting people who attended the same time you did or who knew people who attended the same time you did. It would also make it harder for anyone to verify Saul’s attendance, because they’d have to contact a foreign university. And even if someone did such an investigation, the fact that it’s a foreign country means that such files proving his attendance were probably lost.
And I’ll get one more bit out of the way. Saul seemingly has no friends or family. In other words, when he’s going to Nebraska, there is seemingly no one to say goodbye to. Even at the top of his legal game, he’s a ghost who can pack up with no emotional or human baggage. To me that proves that done it before. Because he had already lost his friends and family the first time.
So my prediction is that the prequel will not be a boring law show with Saul Goodman protecting the rights of criminals week after week. My prediction is that the show will explain Saul’s mysterious and criminal past. Most likely he won’t even be an attorney when the show starts. He’ll be some guy either hiding from the law or from criminals and will decide to assume a new identify. In the show he’ll find an opportunity to take the bar exam, either a friend of his who went to law school was murdered, or something else. I’ll also predict a scene of Saul photoshopping his Samoa diploma.
I was worried that Saul Goodman’s prequel would boring. Now I’m looking forward to it.
Update: I was thinking that someone could argue that if Saul took a new identity and was hiding, why would he tell other people about it by revealing his real name? That’s actually quite easy, because the original threat is gone. If Saul went into hiding because some criminal madman was trying to kill him, once the madmen was killed himself, Saul no longer had a reason to hide. However, as a semi-successful attorney, he had a reason to continue the charade.
A recent Big Bang Theory points out that Indiana Jones was completely useless in the movie the Raiders of the Lost Ark. In a nutshell, if Indy had simply taken the month off, the Nazi’s would have obtained the Ark, opened it up, and would have been killed. In other words, even if he did nothing, the exact same ending would have occurred.
I’ve noticed a similar problem with the Terminator and Terminator 2. The only way Skynet’s plan to kill Sarah Connor could have worked is if the terminator failed.
Let me explain, if the terminator had killed Sarah, John Connor never would have been born. And in that case, a terminator never would have been sent back to kill her. And if the terminator was never sent back, Skynet could not have been invented because there would have been no advanced future-tech to base it on.
So Sarah was not a hero at all. All her actions led to Skynet being created and the robot war to occur. She should have simply allowed the terminator to kill her and the whole thing would have worked itself out in the long run.
Heck, merely by not sending back the terminator, Kyle Reese never would have been sent back, thus, John Connor never would have been conceived. Yes, the robots are the main reason John Connor exists. They should have just killed Kyle in their present and sent the future-tech back to Cyberdyne Systems in the past. But that would have been a much more boring movie: A solider from the future being sent back to the past to stop a robot also sent to the past from delivering a package. The Delivernator!
Apparently Wikipedia has a problem. Despite more and more people accessing it, fewer and fewer people are working as editors.
I can understand why. Every time I tried editing on Wikipedia, my work was ignored. I’m not talking about huge edits or entire articles I’ve written. I’ve got no time for that. I’m talking about minor but important changes. I’ve fixed grammatical errors or tightened up the writing to make it easier to read. I’ve also added citations where there were none. Wikipedia has a serious problem with participants who treat articles as being analogous to emails. They’re written and published without proofreading. The hard part of writing is not the writing. It’s the monotonous, but necessary rewriting.
But every time I’ve done that, every single time, within an hour the materials I fixed were back. Apparently the editors in charge want poorly written materials, complete with grammatical errors, and without citations to the supporting facts. I got tired of making such fixes, so I quit. I’m sure plenty of others have, too.
It’s quite common for comic fans to make fun of the Wonder Twins. While Jayna could at least turn into nearly any animal, Zan could only turn into various forms of water, e.g., buckets of water, steam, or ice cages, complete with creepy faces. The Super Friends TV show played the Wonder Twins off as comic relief.
Recently the super hero parody show, Teen Titans Go, made fun of the Wonder Twins. They needed to hire someone to replace Beast Boy, so they hired Jayna. They kept Zan as a receptionist to answer the phone.
Here’s the deal with Zan, he’s totally fucking more powerful than Jayna. He’s also more powerful that most other super heroes, with maybe the exception of Superman or Captain Marvel.
To understand the full extent of Zan’s power, you have to watch a Super Friends episode entitled Joy Ride:
In it some teenagers go for a joy ride in a plane. Which is a very bizarre scenario, since very few kids are working towards getting their pilot licenses. Anyway, these kids are in this plane, with mechanical problems, and the Wonder Twins have to rescue them.
Jayna turns into an eagle. But to avoid the kids dying in a crash, Zan turns into a lake. A mother fucking lake. At least a mile in diameter and deep enough where you can’t see the tops of the trees in this huge forest.
Think about facing down a criminal and being able to create an instant lake. Fuck the criminal, Zan would be able to fucking drown an army of bad guys. And remember, he can turn into ice instantly, so he’d turn that wave into ice and freeze them. And it’s not as if he could get shot or killed while he’s water. He’s completely invulnerable. Boil him, and he turns into steam, surrounds you, makes you breath him in, and then changes back to human form from the inside, killing the bad guy in the process.
Actually he’d never actually have to fight at all. Whether it’s one bad guy or a million, he’d just turn into a sufficient quantity of water, freeze, and he’s done. Total. Fucking. Bad ass.
Update: I just checked out the Wikipedia entry for the Wonder Twins, and Zan is even more powerful than I thought. He’s able to turn into weather patterns including whirlpools, blizzards, monsoons, waterspouts and typhoons. He was also able to turn into a frost giant. And last but not least, fuck all that talk about turning into a lake of water, because according to Wikipedia he’s able to turn into liquid fucking nitrogen. Totally. Fucking. Bad Fucking Ass.
2nd Update: The real problem with the Wonder Twins is that they were created specifically for the Super Friends television program. That cartoon existed back in a time when it was illegal for punches to be thrown in kids’ programing. To put it another way, it existed in a time when super hero programing was totally fucking lame.
We don’t think Batman or Superman is lame because of the Super Friends. But that’s because we recognize it was their time on the Super Friends which as lame, not the characters themselves. But because the Wonder Twins started out on the Super Friends, they started out lame, we think of them as lame.
And interestingly, according to the above Wikipedia link, the powers conceived for the Wonder Twins were specifically toned down to not overshadow Superman. So even in the world of the Super Friends, the Wonder Twins were supposed to be bad asses, but for the dastardly deeds committed by the villainous producers of the show.
Theists are perplexed by atheists. They cannot imagine a world or living without their particular god. Hopefully this post, which I’ve written in the form of a letter to a Christan, will help theists better understand atheism.
Is there anything I could do to prove to you there is no god? The Bible says there is a firmament in space. Would the fact there is no firmament convince you the Bible is wrong and there is no god? The Bible says the earth is flat and has four corners. Would the fact that the earth is round and has no corners convince you the Bible is wrong and there is no god? In the Bible Jesus claimed he would return in the lifetime of those listening. He didn’t. Does that convince you the Bible is wrong and there is no god?
Of course not. I cannot disprove god to you. It’s impossible. You don’t believe in god because of evidence. You believe because of faith, evidence for things unseen.
You might claim to use “evidence” in your daily life to prove god’s existence, but you don’t actually rely on it. For example, if someone you know survives cancer, you might say, “God saved my friend, how could anyone deny him?” But when a different friend does in fact die, you don’t say, “Gee, Bob died, maybe there is no God.” In other words, regardless of what happens in your life, you believe. Even if the most terrible and horrific event happens, you rest assured in your faith that it’s all a part of god’s plan. Evidence means nothing to your faith.
And that’s the difference between you and an atheist: You have faith. An atheist does not. That’s it. It’s really that simple.
You don’t choose to believe in god. We don’t choose not to believe. It has nothing to do with choice. It has everything to do with faith, for you, and the lack thereof, for us.
Trying to prove to us that god exists with evidence is as pointless as trying to disprove god to you with evidence. It won’t work with you. And it won’t work with us.
I found a hilarious article written by a public school educator discrediting the myth that young people are better at understanding technology. He goes through some hilarious examples from his work experience to show younger people who can’t use computers:
A kid puts her hand up in my lesson. ‘My computer won’t switch on,’ she says, with the air of desperation that implies she’s tried every conceivable way of making the thing work. I reach forward and switch on the monitor, and the screen flickers to life, displaying the Windows login screen. She can’t use a computer.
A teacher brings me her school laptop. ‘Bloody thing won’t connect to the internet.’ she says angrily, as if it were my fault. ‘I had tonnes of work to do last night, but I couldn’t get on-line at all. My husband even tried and he couldn’t figure it out and he’s excellent with computers.’ I take the offending laptop from out of her hands, toggle the wireless switch that resides on the side, and hand it back to her. Neither her nor her husband can use computers.
Well, these examples are hilarious to geeks, but to anyone else they’d think, “How were we supposed to know the solution?”
And that question distills the difference between a person who can use computers and those who can’t. It all boils down to the two different ways we learn. Some of us learn by doing. Some learn by being told.
Most college work is the latter. I call them regurgitation classes. The professor writes stuff on the board. You write it down in your notes. Then you regurgitate it on the test.
But that’s not how geeks learn. We learn by doing, by exploring, by eliminating possibilities, by testing, and experimenting. Here’s a blog post about the process I went through to fix a friend’s computer. The solution could not have been found in a book or a web help forum. The solution could only have been found through trial and error.
But geeks use that to solve nearly all problems. Heck, we do that for every new bit of hardware and software we get, whether we’re having a problem or not. As I’ve said before, a normal person asks, “What can this technology do for me?” A geek asks, “What I can get this technology to do?”
We want to change the color scheme, we dig into the settings, we want to change the behavior of a program, we dig through the registry, we want to speed up a repetitive task, we create a batch file. We love doing this sort of stuff. One time a geeky professor was talking about a computer problem he had. I knew the answer and tried to tell him. He interrupted me and said, “Finding the solution is all the fun.”
Here’s another person from the article above who does not know how to use a computer, and it perfectly explains the regurgitation process.
A kid knocks on my office door, complaining that he can’t login. ‘Have you forgotten your password?’ I ask, but he insists he hasn’t. ‘What was the error message?’ I ask, and he shrugs his shoulders. I follow him to the IT suite. I watch him type in his user-name and password. A message box opens up, but the kid clicks OK so quickly that I don’t have time to read the message. He repeats this process three times, as if the computer will suddenly change its mind and allow him access to the network. On his third attempt I manage to get a glimpse of the message. I reach behind his computer and plug in the Ethernet cable. He can’t use a computer.
That is an example of a person being told how to fix the problem by the computer, but simply ignoring it. Heck, simply refusing to even read it.
You might think this goes against my regurgitation theory, but it doesn’t. The thing is, he was never taught to read the warning and follow those instructions. So he didn’t. In fact, Windows gives so many ridiculous warnings that he’s been taught to just click “OK” and get rid of them.
So he ignored the warning/solution and continued trying again and again to do what he was taught to do, even though it wasn’t working. The only “solution” he could come up with was to seek someone out to tell him the answer. Because he simply lacks any capability to figure it out himself. Even when the machine is telling him exactly what to do! It’s not that he can’t use computers, he can. As long as he regurgitates everything he knows.
This regurgitative way of learning explains lots of idiocy in the world. First, it explains dogmatism. Think about any dogmatic group, for example, hard core feminists, animal rights activists, religious kooks, etc., these people are taught in class rooms, at lectures, and in churches to believe a certain way. They lack any ability to figure out a different way, so they believe the certain way absolutely and without question.
That’s why religious people get so angry when confronted. Here’s a story about an atheist who, during a pro-christian anti-gay protest, held up a sign which simply said: “Rainbows = God Having Gay Sex.” For that he was yelled at and physically threatened.
That’s why feminists pull fire alarms rather than let someone they disagree with speak in public.
And that’s why animal rights activists and anti-abortionists will consider murder, even though it completely contradicts their beliefs. Because reconciling their beliefs with a contrary position is simply impossible. In their minds, eliminating the other position is their only option.
Second, the regurgitative way of learning, or not learning, is what causes bizarre beliefs such as this:
Most people could figure out that it would be impossible for Venus to get between the moon and the earth. But this guy and people like him lack that ability, so they believe it because they heard it.
Here’s another funny story. My wife was at an educational conference in Texas. An educational conference, so people there were educated with at least a four year college degree. She was chatting with someone from Texas. This woman told my wife that Texas has the biggest lakes in the world. My wife, coming from Michigan and the Great Lakes, disagreed. The woman from Texas said something along the lines of, “Well, the Great Lakes aren’t that big. You can see across them, right?” My wife replied that the Great Lakes are so big you can’t see across them, and that shut up the woman from Texas. My wife said the woman from Texas “got real quiet and looked like she was about to start crying.”
And here’s the bizarre part. At some point in her life that woman from Texas must have seen a map of the United States/North America. And upon seeing that map, she must have seen the Great Lakes. But despite seeing the evidence that the Great Lakes are bigger, she couldn’t figure out that Texas does not have the biggest lakes in the world. She continued believing that Texas’ lakes are bigger, because someone told her that everything is bigger in Texas. (Which if you know anyone from Texas, is taught in Texas as the absolute truth.)
So the educationalist computer guy from above is right. Most people can’t use computers, and the fact that they’re young doesn’t change that. No matter how young someone is, if they learn by regurgitation, they will not be able to to truly use computers. And while training, i.e., more regurgitative learning, might make them less ignorant, it will never make them able to fix new problems on their own.
In the old says, Velma used to be the frump to Daphne’s beauty. But over time, we’ve changed to where Velma is now the sexy one and Daphne is the pretty but ho hum one.
I first noticed this when I was checking out a cosplay subreddit (purely for scientific research) and noticed that there are plenty more pictures of Velma than Daphne. And even more strange, the Velma pictures are more sexually oriented than the Daphne pics. You can confirm this yourself by searching “velma cosplay” and “daphne cosplay” in Google Images.
Velma’s usually wearing ridiculous heels, and even when she’s wearing her patented sensible shoes, she’s wearing ridiculously short skirts. She’s usually scantly clad and posing as if in a porn video. You know, very campy and over the top. While the Daphne cosplays merely attempt for accuracy.
I’ll admit, I get the nerd fetish. I’m more into Bailey than Jennifer and Mary Ann than Ginger and (when I was a kid) more into Jan than Marsha. So I recognize there are other guys like me who pick the less obvious, more subtle hot woman. Maybe it’s the obviousness or the falseness of the “real” hottie that turns us off. I don’t know, but that does not explain why Velma is sexed up so much. If we’re turned on by the less obviously sexy of the two, why do we then sex her up?
I thought, well maybe since Daphne is already sexy and already wears a short dress and heels, maybe there’s no point in sexing her up. But that ignores the Jessica Rabbit cosplay, and the like, where a sexy character is sexed up even more.
Maybe guys with nerd fetishes (which I guess is what I’ll call it) like our women demure, but want to fantasize about them being overtly sexual. But if that’s true, why don’t we just fantasize about the more overtly sexual of the two, e.g., Jennifer over plain Bailey or Ginger over plain Mary Ann?
I don’t have an answer for this one. It’s not really a logic question anyway, just something weird I noticed. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please feel free to comment.
There are plenty of articles and editorials asking why whistleblower Bradley Manning was punished so much harshly than actual spies. It’s a good question with a simple question: Because Manning was not an actual spy.
It’s really that simple. Have you ever been in a foreign country and then noticed someone from your own country? You probably struck up a friendship with them. Despite being from different states and cultures, there’s a comradery between you.
In the same vein, it’s quite common for prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and cops to all go out and drink together. Sure they’re all on different sides, but they’re all on different sides of the same thing.
The same sort of comradery exists among spies. Even if you’re working against a foreign spy. Even if you’re trying to arrest a nationalist who is selling secrets to a foreign country. You’re still doing the same job. He’s like you. He’s doing his spying. You’re doing your counter-spying. It’s all good.
But Manning is not a spy. He was just some minion. Some peon. He was a cog in the system that did something unexpected. He did the right thing when the system did not want the right thing done.
Think of the Joker’s speech in the Dark Knight. When everything goes as planned, no matter how horrible it is, we’re OK with it. But when someone does something unexpected, we go batshit crazy. That’s how the feds view it. When spies spy, heck, that’s fine. We expect spies to spy. That’s the sole reason we have jobs, to find spies. So that’s cool.
But when a mere cog such as Manning (or Snowden) does something outside of his station. Something the system didn’t expect. Well, the feds are gonna go a little crazy. They’re going to punish his ass to make sure the system stays and works as it’s supposed to.
And that’s why Manning was punished so horribly. To make sure the system works correctly. Even if the system is corrupt to its very core.
While most people have no trouble understanding satire, the net is filled with people who simply cannot get it, even when they admittedly understand the concept of it. I’m convinced the inability to understand and perceive satire is an actual biological condition/infliction.
Case in point, the following review of a “portable” guitar amplifier I wrote over at Amazon:
It should be readily apparent that it’s satire and that I’m making fun of the fact that it’s being sold as a “portable” amp, when in fact, all guitar amps are portable.
But yet, everyone didn’t get the humor, here’s the one comment I got:
The strange part is that he actually recognizes that satire exists and how it operates, he just can’t put everything together and recognize my review was a joke. It’s as if he’s forced by some compulsion to point out that my review is factually incorrect and that portable amps are quite common. It’s as if being “right” is more important than getting the joke.
And if he believes it is not satire, he must believe that I believe what I wrote or am lying. However, if he believed I was lying, why would he “correct” me about the facts of my review. Clearly, he believes that I believe what I wrote. Which means that he believes I have a steady stream of fans coming to my house to hear me play. Really? He believes that?
And what amp would I be using to play for those fans? A portable one, of course. Because they are all portable. And if so, why does he think I’d own a portable amp and not recognize that it’s portable? Wouldn’t I have carried it into my own house?
Does he also believe that I believe that I’ve never heard of musical groups forming and playing live events?
As shown, it’s simply incredible that this commenter would know about and understand the underlying concepts of satire, but not recognize satire when it’s right in front of him. Is it merely a compulsion to “correct” mistakes, even when they’re intentionally and purposefully made? Sort of like a grammar-Nazi correcting chat-speak?
Or is it a function of their brains where they have to accept people at face value, not matter how apparent it is the people are lying. This would certainly explain all the idiots falling for Nigerian scams. I have to wonder if a study was done, would such scam victims be able to recognize satire? My guess is they wouldn’t. And this makes sense because Nigerian scammers actually present their scams as ludicrous and incredible as possible, to weed out everyone but the most naive.
Bill Plaschke, over at the Chicago Tribune, wrote an asinine opinion piece about Peyton Manning replacing Tim Tebow as quarterback for the Denver Broncos. The premise of the piece is this question: Why won’t the NFL let a “class act” like Tebow play in the NFL?
First, I personally don’t think Tebow is a class act. Sure, he’s not sexting like Brett Favre. But at least Favre was doing what he does in private.
Tebow doesn’t do anything in private. He’s what the Bible calls a hypocrite. He makes his faith a public spectacle.
Think about it. Tebow believes there’s an all powerful, and all knowing, magical being that bends the laws of physics to help him win football games if he puts on a public spectacle.
As an atheist I think Tebow’s belief makes him out to be an idiot.
As someone with deep faith, I’d be outraged that Tebow believes that God is taking time out of his busy day to help him in such trivial pursuits. It’s such an ego trip. It’s like a four year old boy yelling out, “I’m important because I have a big brother who can kick your ass.” Only a lot more offensive to theists and atheists alike.
So, I do not believe that Tebow is a class act. His shtick, his spectacle, his pandering, is highly demeaning to nearly everyone. Everyone except for that minority of theists who find comfort in believing that God helps devotees win football games while letting children starve.
And furthermore, Plaschke’s piece is simply poorly argued. At one point Plaschke criticizes people who forget Tebow’s victories while focusing on his beliefs. In other words, criticizing people for focusing on the very spectacle that Tebow performs at every game.
However, Plaschke then argues that Tebow should be praised for his “strength born of faith.”
Look, Plaschke, you can’t criticize people for focusing on Tebow’s faith and then demand that Tebow should be praised for his faith.
And second of all, if Tebow’s “strength” was based on empiricism, instead being born of faith, he’d still be a quarterback in the NFL. In other words, faith doesn’t matter. Real world results do.
So, Plaschke, to answer your original question, if Tebow can’t find another quarterback job in the NFL, it will have nothing to do with his faith or the classiness of his shtick. It’ll be because he’s simply is not good enough.
And here’s the last reason Plaschke piece was asinine. He argues that Tebow is a worthy quarterback but that the NFL will not accept him. Well, he’s already been proved wrong on that. Apparently the Jets want Tebow fever. Plaschke, it makes no sense to argue that Tebow is a worthy quarterback but won’t be allowed to play. The NFL doesn’t care about a person’s faith. Only if they can win. And clearly Tebow has proved that. It’s just that Manning has more proof.